Close this search box.

IRX 2012: PREVIEW: Interview with Chris Conway of Asda and Lee Behan of Publicis Blueprint

This is an archived article - we have removed images and other assets but have left the text unchanged for your reference

In our latest preview of one of our major events of the year, Internet Retailing Expo (IRX 2012), we asked Chris Conway of Asda and Lee Behan of Publicis Blueprint how digital brand zones have helped lift sales at The two will be speaking at the Customer Experience Conference on March 22, the second day of the free-to-attend two-day event.

Asda’s digital trading team has worked with suppliers to build digital brand zones – shops within shops – with the aim of engaging shoppers. This approach has helped to lift traffic and conversion rates in categories where online engagement was previously low. So how did Asda and Publicis Blueprint go about putting these zones into action – and what were the results?

Internet Retailing: Digital brand zones sound interesting. Where did the idea come from, and how straightforward was it to implement?

Chris Conway,

Chris Conway and Lee Behan: Retailtainment is something that Asda pride themselves on and we needed to find a solution to augment both category and brand offer, whilst delivering the overall strategy. The idea was born out of the need to create environments which would both engage and excite the shopper. Once we agreed the brand zones that we wanted to build it was then a question of how many items we would place in each of the zones, be it the full range or partial showcase of key lines. The main consideration was how we would drive traffic into these areas to ensure they didn’t become dead areas on the site.

ΙR: How do they work in practice?

CC and LB: The concept is simple, create a store within a store, but on the digital platform. We created a button called New & Ideas in our master navigation tab and within that tab created an area for ‘shops’. The idea is that we offer enhanced content, information and the ability to add key products to your basket.

ΙR: What results have you seen following on?

CC and LB: We now see 100,000 shoppers a week visiting our digital shops / branded zones, whose baskets are on average 8% larger than those that don’t visit these areas.

Lee Behan, Publicis Blueprint

ΙR: What have you learned about the practicalities of multichannel shopping from the experience?

CC and LB: As with anything, keep it simple, but provide enough engagement to entice the shopper into the area, but also ensure that you deliver a great experience.

ΙR: What advice would you give to others looking to link their stores to the online?

CC and LB: Not every category or in indeed brand needs a whole digital store, consider areas where you can add value to the overall shopping experience or where interest is low. Think about the online shopper journey and how you simplify this to benefit the shopper.

One great success we’ve had is with our Weight Watchers shop. They are a multi-category brand meaning that shopping the full range is difficult, so by combining the whole range under one shop means that we meet the needs of the shopper and they buy into the full range.

Chris Conway, head of food trading digital at Asda and Lee Behan, digital sales director at Publicis Blueprint will be speaking at IRX 2012. Their presentation, Creating digital customer experience zones to enhance sales, will be in the Customer Experience Conference on March 22 at 10.30am.

Entrance to IRX 2012, which will be held at the NEC in Birmingham on March 21 and 22, is free. More than 4,000 visitors are expected at the event, which features an exhibition of 150 suppliers to the ecommerce and multichannel industries alongside a two-day learning programme, Selling in the Digital Age.

The programme features four conferences, dedicated to Mobile and Social Commerce, Fast Track, Enterprise and Customer Experience, as well as a series of workshops, learning sessions and demonstrations of the latest technology. Click here to register or find out more.

Read More

Register for Newsletter

Group 4 Copy 3Created with Sketch.

Receive 3 newsletters per week

Group 3Created with Sketch.

Gain access to all Top500 research

Group 4Created with Sketch.

Personalise your experience on